Titled Shell directors, the late Sir Peter Holmes, and Sir William Purves were also directors, major shareholders and the spymasters of Hakluyt & Company, a UK corporate espionage firm founded by former senior MI6 officers. Shell used Hakluyt to engage in cloak and dagger operations against its perceived enemies, including Greenpeace, as exposed in a Sunday Times front-page lead article “MI6 ‘firm’ spied on green groups.” It led to a follow-on inside page headlined “How agent Camus sunk Greenpeace oil protests”.
Mirror Image of archival information relating to the Don Marketing / Shell litigation dating back over two decades
RICHARD WISEMAN, RETIRED ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC CHIEF ETHICS AND COMPLIANCE OFFICER. FORMERLY LEGAL DIRECTOR OF SHELL UK LIMITED. MR WISEMAN DEALT WITH THE JOHN DONOVAN/ DON MARKETING vs. SHELL LITIGATION ON BEHALF OF SHELL.
THREATS AND INTIMIDATION BY SHELL DURING PERIOD WISEMAN IN CHARGE OF SHELL UK DEFENCE
Letter from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman (AKA Kendall Freeman) challenging John Donovan to substantiate allegations about “Shell UK and its lawyers” having “bombarded my company and my family with threats over the years (verbally and in writing.” : 21 May 1998
1ST EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS
Flawed Shell Make Money Game
2ND EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS
3RD EXAMPLE OF SHELL INTENT TO PREVENT EMBARRASSING INFORMATION FROM REACHING SHAREHOLDERS
High-level April 1998 correspondence with Shell involving Richard Wiseman (see letter from Jyoti Munsiff – 6 April 1998
Reply letter from John Donovan to Mark Moody-Stuart: 14 April 1998
“Yet you are not prepared for the same information to be supplied, even on a confidential basis, to the people who actually own the company – your shareholders. Your decision to keep company members in the dark speaks absolute volumes. So much for the core principle of “openness”. When it comes to the crunch, covering-up a catalogue of misdeeds by Shell managers, despite incontrovertible evidence of flagrant breaches of the principles of honesty and integrity, apparently takes priority.”
Link to “Unloveable Shell, the goddess of oil” Guardian article mentioned in the correspondence (takes time to load but well worth the wait)
UNDERCOVER ACTIVITY AGAINST THE DONOVAN’S IN THE PERIOD WISEMAN IN CHARGE OF DEFENCE CASE
A number of sinister characters suddenly came on the scene in a short period of time, including an American gentleman who arrived from overseas and tracked down and interviewed our key witnesses, falsely claiming to be a journalist for The European newspaper. Another undercover agent under the name of Christopher Phillips had been caught red-handed illegally opening private mail at our offices. The homes of our solicitor, a key witness and our own home were all burglarised in the run up to the Smart Trial and related documents examined. Shell denied any association with the burglaries and the intimidation of our witnesses.
Copies of a selection of relevant self-explanatory correspondence published below.
Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors, DJ Freeman: 16 June 1998
John Donovan letter to Richard Wiseman: 23 June 1998
Richard Wiseman letter to John Donovan: 24 June 1998
Richard Wiseman letter to John Donovan: 1 July 1998
If, nevertheless, the police wish to obtain any further information from my clients or from anyone involved in enquiries on their behalf, including Mr Phillips, then, as has been said on several previous occasions, the fullest of co-operation will be given.
Letter from Richard Wiseman to John Donovan: 9 July 1998
The activities of Mr Phillips have, of course, been admitted.
Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 11 August 1998(confirms internal investigation by Shell)
Letter to John Donovan from Shell solicitors DJ Freeman: 26 October 1998 (Confirms an internal investigation by Shell)
DEFENDING THE COMPANY’S GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION: Richard Wiseman article in OPDirect Magazine: November 1998
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
DEFENDING THE COMPANY’S GOOD NAME AND REPUTATION
There has recently been some publicity surrounding a writ issued against Shell UK by Mr John Donovan, director of a company called Don Marketing, who claims that his company invented the SMART loyalty programme and that he or his company should be compensated for its use. Shell UK is strongly defending the claim, having carefully investigated and discussed it with Mr Donovan and his solicitors. Mr Donovan has been making a number of unpleasant allegations in public and in the press, and has been handing out leaflets to staff.
Some Don Marketing Games from the 1980s
COPY OF INFORMATION PUBLISHED ON Don-Marketing.com and “Images File” webpage (with more images added in 2020)
An article published by Prospect Magazine in February 2007 authored by Derek Brower, senior correspondent of Petroleum Economist, provides an overall background to the disputes between Royal Dutch Shell and Alfred Donovan and his son, John.
Picture of John Chambers and John DonovanJohn Donovan (right) and John Chambers at Don Marketing Hornchurch offices in 1984 For more photos see Don Marketing Photo File donmarketingphotofile.html
Don Marketing was founded by Alfred Donovan, Bob Donovan, John Donovan and their fondly remembered friend and business partner, chartered accountant, Don Redhead (deceased). Alfred, Bob and John are all retired from commercial activity. John Chambers was managing director during the most successful years of Don Marketing which, following a series of court actions with Shell, ceased trading some years ago.
Copy of archival information
HIGH COURT TRIAL JUNE/JULY 1999 Case No: DD04199 Court 58
John Alfred Donovan v. Shell UK Ltd
SHELL SMART MULTI-PARTNER LOYALTY CARD SCHEME
HIGH COURT TRIAL INDEX PAGE
(Modified 23 April 2018 when all references to relevant Shell executive changed to “AJL”)
Further modified 21 Oct 2020 with the green text added immediately below and further references to the same Shell executive spotted and changed to AJL)
The judge himself admitted in open court that he had lost control of the trial. The following is an extract from a transcribed comment he made to Shell’s barrister Mr Geoffrey Hobbs QC on Tuesday 29 June 1999:
MR HOBBS: Your Lordship said was there any other matter. I do not know whether your Lordship wishes to know about the open correspondence that has passed between the parties.
MR JUSTICE LADDIE: Mr Hobbs, it may come as a surprise to you but I am not running this case. That is very apparent. If you wish to make any submissions to me or bring anything to my attention that is a matter for your choice. I have decided there is no point in me making further enquiries of my own volition.
Two decades before co-founding Don Marketing, John Donovan was in the petrol retailing business with his father Alfred Donovan operating a chain of petrol stations and garages in East London and Essex. Their main garage, known initially as East & Donovan and later as A & J Donovan, held Standard-Triumph and Leyland light commercial franchises.
In 1967, Alfred and John Donovan founded Jackpot Promotions, which launched a Freeline Football petrol sales promotion at garages throughout the UK, including Fina, Cleveland, Amoco and independent petrol stations. The computer-printed football coupons – examples below – were printed by Thomas De La Rue. Each contained a different pre-paid entry on Zetters Pools.
Freeline Football used Australian football teams in the summer season.
In 1979, Alfred and John co-founded Don Marketing with Bob Donovan and Don Redhead and launched a modified Freeline Football promotion on “no purchase necessary” basis.
DON MARKETING PROMOTIONAL GAMES FROM 1979 ONWARDS.
(Left to right) Roger Sotherton (Managing Director), John Donovan (Chairman) and Ken Brown (Operations Director).
Some Don Marketing staff including Steven Donovan and Lisa, smiling.
DON MARKETING OCCUPIED THE ENTIRE TOP FLOOR OF CRITERION HOUSE IN CHELMSFORD.
The Game pieces displayed below are not actual size.
GAMES FOR SHELL
SHELL MAKE MONEY GAME 1984 FOR SHELL UK
Don Marketing supplied the Make Money game on an international basis for Shell, including Shell Singapore – poster immediately below.
Fast flowing Don: Marketing Magazine 16 February 1984
Shell Make Money full page advert: Daily Express 21 February 1984
Shell Make Money full page advert: Evening Standard 21 February 1984
Shell is back making money: Incentive Marketing and Sales Promotion March 1984
Anatomy of a Shell winner: Campaign Magazine 27 April 1984